According to Arcadis, the average construction dispute that ends up in mediation or arbitration takes 14 months to resolve at an average value of $21 million. The source of these disputes most commonly involves errors and omissions and unsubstantiated claims. Building Information Management (BIM) models are transforming how buildings are designed and constructed.
This recent report indicated that BIM (Building Information Management) had been used more and more to avoid the time and costs of resolving these disputes. BIM can forensically verify whether the completed work matches the contract’s scope of work and when things went off the rails. BIM then permits owners to accurately assess potential claims arising from alleged construction defects or design errors and omissions, using real data. Because BIM keeps a record the progress of a project’s construction over time, change orders, etc., BIM can run models to verify delay claims, for instance, or the impact of design changes, as well as their true cost in time or money. Of course, this only works if the model is kept up to date during construction with detailed, accurate information, which is often a criticism.
For design professionals, BIM can also be used to during design to rectify design conflicts or design errors before final plans are approved or a notice to proceed is ever issued. This reduces the chances of disputes with owners and contractors during construction, along with the attendant costs and headaches of dispute resolution.
BIM is still a work in progress for most design professionals and contractors. But it can be a powerful tool in investigating construction claims, a project’s construction history and the critical actions of key decision-makers. It’s worth it.